Our History Held Humbly

It’s been said of war that history is written by the victors. I would expand that to say that the present defines the past. Our present mentality is very different than the mentality of the past. Just think how differently we think now than we did in the 80’s, the 60’s, the 50’s, and so on. Just try to imagine how differently people thought 100 years ago, 1,000 years ago, or 30,000 years ago! And it is not just human mentality that is so malleable. It is also the earth herself – earthquakes, climate change, consuming rain, fires, and natural disasters. Some say even the constants in the laws of physics change over time. All these changes mold our history.

To get some insight into the diverse nature of mentalities, we can even look at the same moment in time in different parts of the world. The whole field of international law is so incredibly complicated due to conflicting mentalities. As some have said, “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

Now enters the field of archeology. Though I tip my hat to them for trying, we can hardly venture a guess as to how limited archeologists’ perspectives on ancient cultures might be. A rather classic example might be the Egyptian Sphynx. I understand that archaeologists date the Sphynx at several thousand years, while geologists point out that water erosion dates it at 10,000 years. What happened to the missing 7,000 years? It seems we have no idea.

The salient point here can be summed up in one word: “humility.” We do well to view our history not through the judgmental eyes of current perspective, but rather through the eyes of humility. We can only barely begin to understand our history. The further back in time we go, the less accessible it becomes. Paradoxically, we can benefit a great deal by trying to understand our history: who we are and how we got here.

We do well, though, to not forget the humility inherent in true understanding. We can’t judge our past, we can’t put it in a box, or frame it in a rigid manner. We hold it dearly, but lightly.

We can even generalize this further. Do we really understand the other person sitting across from us and their history? It seems that Socrates had it right: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” The unbounded nature of the field of pure no-thing-ness that dwells within us as us, as our true Self, the unknowable.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Mars!

I have become increasingly fascinated with engineering over the years. Back in college as a physics major, my classmates and I used to think physics was ‘above it all’, and in many ways it is. But engineering really brings things to the here and now. It is very impressive what engineers have accomplished. The application of the fundamentals of physics is astounding. With just basic classical Newtonian physics, so much is accomplished. And now another launch to Mars. Wow!

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Is It a Rocket?

Have you ever noticed a jet stream that looked like it was going straight up? Have you wondered if it might be a rocket? Due to the curvature of the earth, a plane coming in your direction just appears to be going striaght up. If the earth was flat, the jet would look more like a point getting closer rather than a jet stream line going straight up. Just imagine you were a tiny point standing on a tennis ball and looking at another point circling the ball and coming in your direction. It would like like it is going straight up, not straight at you. Our world is smaller than we may think! Using the same sort of logic with respect to shadows, the ancient Greeks figured out not only that the world was round, but also with simple trigonometry they calculated the diameter of the earth.

By the way, today (March 20, 2018) is the equinox. The sun rises due east, goes directly over head, and sets due west.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Timely Quote

Abraham Lincoln“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
– Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861

 

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Winter Solstice

Today is the first day of winter. The Sun rises in the southernmost location. Many have been feeling the challenging events of the past year with the difficult jyotish influences. You may want to take a look at the Sun today knowing that by the time it returns to this position, life will be better for many of us. In fact, by 2020, the world will likely look much different and much better. Hang in there!

Winter Solstice - Michael Mamas

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Political Correctness

Political Correctness - Michael MamasThere is a concept in ancient Chinese philosophy called “The Rectification of the Names” where it is socially no longer considered correct to use terms that most accurately convey the meaning of things. I wonder if, in some cases, we have succumbed to the problems associated with that concept. Of course, in some cases, re-naming is good and important, but in other cases…???

 

 

 

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

What Ever Happened to ‘Peace and Love’?

I just published a new article on Medium.com. It begins:

“I attended undergraduate school in the late sixties and early seventies when the hippie movement was at its peak. As a conscientious student, I didn’t have time for anything other than my studies. However, today I long for those peace and love ideals.

“Realistically speaking, what is peace and love anyway? Isn’t it far more than non-violence and free love? Doesn’t it include more than being respectful, compassionate, polite, and dignified toward all people, not just the ones you agree with?”…

Read more:

“What Ever Happened to ‘Peace and Love’?”

Peace and Love - Michael Mamas

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Past Lives

Past Lives by Michael MamasThis poem by General George S Patton Jr speaks for itself:

Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
In His sacred helpless side.
Yet I’ve called His name in blessing
When in after times I died.

Through the travail of the ages
Midst the pomp and toil of war
Have I fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star.

I have sinned and I have suffered
Played the hero and the knave
Fought for belly, shame or country
And for each have found a grave.

So as through a glass and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names – but always me.

So forever in the future
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter
But to die again once more.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.

Some Quotes

These quotes have been sitting on my desktop for a while.  I thought I would send them along to you.  Enjoy!

From Patton:

“We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”

“There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent.” 

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

From Alexander the Great:

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

Mountain Panorama

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.